What is allicin?

Allicin is a compound that is created when garlic is minced or crushed. It is often used to make garlic supplements, although it actually functions as an insecticide and protective measure for garlic in nature. Although the compound has been found to possess both antibacterial and antifungal properties, studies are divided on how effective it is for treating medical conditions in humans. It is also not a stable compound, and will have a relatively short shelf life.

Garlic in its natural state is not a good source of allicin. However, when the garlic bulb is cut or bruised in some way, the enzymes in the garlic begin to react and create the compound. This compound is also deactivated by acidic environments such as the stomach, and is damaged by heat. Therefore, cooking with minced or minced garlic will not allow the user to receive any such health benefits from the allicin content of cooked garlic. It is also not very stable, even in liquid form, and has a short shelf life.

Despite its short shelf life, allicin is used to make many health supplements. It is said that it can help cure colds, boost immunity and reduce a person's risk of strokes. It has also been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties under laboratory conditions. Studies on the effectiveness of allicin supplements are divided, with some showing that garlic supplements are actually very helpful and others showing that the claims are exaggerated. Many studies done on this compound are done on animals, so the results may not be replicable in humans.

One aspect of allicin production that is important to kitchen preparation is the strong flavor that is activated when garlic is minced or crushed. The familiar flavor is the result of the conversion of the enzyme allicinaise by the interaction of the chemical allicin in the process. While the medicinal properties of allicin are not supported by cooking, the flavor created by this chemical reaction in the garlic compound remains.

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